Reckless, bad boy.

Cape-coloured-childrenThe government started building a new highway just up the road from us, through the boundary dividing the whites from the coloureds. During construction where they excavated a huge ditch for the new highway, the winter rains had filled it to make a lake. Here we made rafts with polystyrene sheets and played pirates, the coloureds were our enemies. We fought with clay balls on the end of sticks, flicked like a catapult. Long range and hurt like hell when hit. Some bad memories of how they were treated, they were removed from the area suddenly, few of them were our friends. After a while I loved visiting their empty homes which were poorly made and easy to destroy. Had no idea about apartheid, and the sorrows of the nation. But then our white areas were growing and the locals were pushed further away.

At the top of the road there was an old winery with a tower, was in such bad state that it was fenced in so no one could enter. Around the fence was the governments waterworks offices, so there was a lot of activity there besides the watchmen. That made it even more of a risk getting into the premises, but I found a way inn. On the inside of the tower there was an old wooden staircase which spiraled up alongside the walls, about eight stories. Some of the steps were broken and missing, the construction was loosened from the walls ready to collapse at any time. Inside there were pigeons which were easily frightened and could warn the watchmen. And at the top you had to hop over a gap which went all the way down, scary but fun. Spent a lot of time up there and sometimes I had a friend with me. Loved the spence and adventure of doing things that were prohibited. Today there is no sign of the old tower, not even a photo on the web.


At eleven I was caught red handed breaking in through the roof of a mans house, while he was at home. Thought the house was empty, and I was looking for adventure. The house was in the area of an old winery just up the road from us. In one of the storage rooms the man also had two cars, a sports car and a vintage which I had completely destroyed. Thought it was fun, and a bit dangerous. So as I landed on the table in his lounge, from the hole in his roof. Suddenly there he stood with a huge panga (machete) angry as hell. He drove me to the police station where he wanted me put in prison. There I gave them the wrong name and address, sorry Gerald!  Gerald got into a lot of trouble, and I believe was beaten by his father for my crimes. Got off so lightly, but never went back to his house again.

Give me a match
My first fire was in my bedroom, lit my toy box and then heard my grandmother coming. Got afraid and pushed the box under the bed, by the time she came into the room my bed and curtains were on fire. Got a beating for that.

Another time I stole matches from the store, and was playing around in the forest where they had cut down a lot of pine trees to build a library. Was with a friend and a girl from school, they were hiding in the logs  when I thought I’d light the pile of logs, then whoosh! Huge flames out of control, I ran home and acted as nothing had happened. But someone saw me, people from the municipality came home and in front of my grandparents wanted me beaten for my crime. It took some eight fire engines to put it out and save the new library.

The next time was on my way home from school, saw resin flowing out of the side of a huge pine tree near the tennis courts in Meadowridge. Lit it and suddenly the flames flew up the tree, and then the whole place was now on fire. That was scary, got away without been reported.

Another time playing with matches in a dry field of long grass. Flicking burning matches into the grass where suddenly the wind caught hold and the hole area was now in flames, somebody lost their dog there that day. We went back to help put out the fire after the fire bregade arrived, Stephens parents knew it was us.

Remember breaking into the Scout club on Ladies mile road, found a way in by climbing onto the roof. There I got into a storage room full of sweets and cola, that was like heaven in those days. Took sweets to school and bought friends for a short while. Went back a few times until they found out and barred up the windows.

IMG_3178My life of crime started early, this was already before I was fourteen. I was always good at hideing what I’d been up to, no guilt or remorse. Dont think I was smart enough to have a conscious, and saw nothing wrong with what I did. I could lie, steal and deceive, had no respect for anybody else or their property. Thought I was invincible, with the face of innocence.